Natashya

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Natashya
Status: Dead
Aliases: The Kestrel, Isilshori
Guild: Thief
Race: Elf
Gender: Female
Associates: Bilgrath, Tigron, Rordan, Sorrow, Sidhlot

Lady Natashya Dalterein, a Sand Elf also referred to in some circles as "The Kestrel," was an assassin and high-ranking Enforcer within the Thieves' Guild prior to faking her death at the hands of the mercenary Twando. She lead a double-life as a noble within Zoluren following her involvement in the Sorrow War as an assassin, having procured papers establishing herself as the cousin of Edenlaen of Shard and distancing herself from her past, going so far as to have her appearance drastically altered with Shift. She engaged in a number of affairs with various heads-of-state prior to departure, and her motives for doing so are still questioned by most. As of 02/12/2009, her alias Isilshori was announced deceased.


The Assassin

Natashya originally arrived on the scene working for Bilgrath. Bilgrath and Natashya cultivated a network of guilded thieves to be their eyes and ears throughout the Provinces. It was during this time that she met Ragad in Therengia, who would swear himself to her. His relationship with her as her retainer would remain both personal and business until her death many years later.

Her most prominent employer however was Sorrow, who had hired them and a team of Dark Assassins to begin conducting attacks on people elected to the Crossing Defense Council and the later expanded War Council, which was composed of representatives from each guild. Among the council were Paschein, Melvi, Piextra, Salvalis, Daython, Garfaldo, Galain, Sneak, Lanthander, Camielia, Soim, Sholana, Mystanya, Kortny, Dritzfury, and Galahant. Tokens in the form of raven feathers were left at the first successful murder of each council member, making it clear that the assassins were answering to Sorrow. She used her romantic relationship with Wildmann at the time to turn him into her bodyguard, something she would repeat twice more before her death.

After it became clear that death and threats would not work to deter the Council, Natashya changed tactics. She befriended a few within the group and began the slow process of turning them against each other. Eventually, in-fighting and plotting caused the Council to crumble from within. It was during this time, after a run in with one of the Council that resulted in a near death experience for Natashya, a curious friendship was forged between Natashya and the Healer Paschein. While often strained by their respective roles, this relationship would remain until the Natashya's death nearly thirty years later.

It should be noted here that the Council did employ Natashya with three contracts. The first contract was to arrange for a meeting with Sorrow, this never came about. The second contract, was for a way to stop Sorrow's henchman, Sadiaer. This would prove to be Sadiaer's death sentence as Natashya handled his termination herself. The third contract was for information that would assist in stopping Sorrow. This final piece of information, the name of the "ancient one" Keralin, in combination with the Magus Prayk's efforts brought about Sorrow's demise.

After the success of their contract with Sorrow, the Necrolord Sidhlot employed Natashya to gather bards with what was referenced as "the perfect pitch". It was at this point Tigron and Rordan were introduced into the mix. They provided considerable muscle, with Tigron 'auditioning' the bards and bashing skulls and Rordan removing tongues and shattering playing hands of the bards they would kidnap together. While Tigron would eventually become Natashya's peer and be given the guild enforcer position in Ilithi, Rordan parted ways with his companions as soon as their job was completed.

The Transition

The war over and her contracts fulfilled, Natashya went to ground and planned what to do next. She resurfaced some years later in Leth Deriel, having gone through pains to conceal herself and her past and create a believable facade. Her entourage at this time included: Agnese, Aguisian and Kaelynor.

To succeed in this, she first sought out Paschein, whom she had befriended in the years prior. Complicit in her plan, Paschein provided her with several shifts and contracted out the few she could not do to those who had no idea who Natashya was.

Using her considerable talents and connections, she procured papers for a fictional house and holdings in Ilithi from Gaumedies, who never seemed fully clear on her past. Under Gaumedies tutelage Natashya acquired a taste for finer liquors and wines, took elocution lessons to correct her Common and Ilithic dialects, had fine gowns and clothing crafted for her and had her tattoo altered. Finally, armed with 'lady-like' weapons obtained by Paschein and Ragad, she was satisfied with the results.

Gaumedies served as her sponsor and she as his ward, and was thus a "cousin" to Edenlaen, who was a prominent member of Ferdahl Kukalakai's court. Though suspicions were present in those that recognized the name of the ruthless assassin when she was finally presented to the late Ferdahl as Gaumedies' ward, only a trusted few could say for sure that she had ever been anything other than the noble Ilithi Lady Natashya.

The Noblewoman

Natashya's first notable public appearance in Zoluren was at Prince Vorclaf's coronation ceremony, where she gave him a pair of breeding kestrels. Her appearance and her gift to him did not pass without controversy, as several remembered her name and moniker from the Sorrow War even if her appearance, mannerisms and pedigree had changed.

She soon rose in status among the Zoluren Court, cultivating a relationship with Prince Vorclaf. While some speculated that there was more then friendship between the pair, Vorclaf kept Natashya at arms length, a cause of some frustration for the lady. Seldom at a loss for long, Natashya turned her attention to the First Ambassador of Zoluren, a nobleman by the name of Rayth Blackmoore, himself already involved in a relationship with one of his ambassadors, Athiana. Rayth, eventually officially assumed the additional position as Natashya's bodyguard.

During this time in Crossing, a string of poisonings occurred. Inn Keepers were being blamed for the illness of several patrons attributed to the alcohol. Paschein, having witnessed and rescued the first of several victims, suspected Natashya's maid, Agnese. While trying to escape a lieutenant's unwanted escort, Agnese made him finish his drink, quickly kissed him and then dashed off leaving the debilitated officer poisoned. Because Agnese made a show of swiping the empty brandy glass, she was accused of poisoning the drink. No one yet realized it was actually the kiss that poisoned him, as her special quality as a venefica were unknown. Shortly after the accusations were made against Agnese, a few adventurers out for an evening's entertainment became poisoned while Agnese had an elaborate alibi.

The investigation into the incident put Paschein and Natashya at odds, a strain that remained until Natashya's disappearance back to the Islands near the end of the Outcast War.

Under increased scrutiny in Zoluren, when opportunity presented for Rayth to go to Therengia, Natashya, with Agnese in tow, followed shortly after. She soon extended her influence to the northern court, becoming close to the Baron Jeladric's newly named heir Gyfford who she had met at Vorclaf’s Coronation. Due to whispers of her former life and her presence at a dinner with Jeladric and Gyfford just prior to the old Baron's death, many believed Natashya had a hand in it, though there was no hard evidence to substantiate these claims. She continued her influence through the young Baron Gyfford, whom seemed smitten with her and led to more rumors of her romantic involvement with (and manipulation of) another Provincial leader. It was during this time that Gyfford gifted Natashya with a jeweled kestrel brooch, yet another nod to her previous incarnation.

During this time, Natashya was busy establishing a network of loyal and powerful people both within thief’s guild and in her new political circle. Dozens of people throughout the Provinces were busy keeping tabs on the lady’s business interests.

Another valuable man in Natashya's retinue was the Court Scribe Aguisian, who served her loyally from his position in the Keep until her death. He lived a double-life much like Natashya, concealing his true nature as an extremely skilled spy by posing as a soft, mild-mannered and weak-stomached scribe.

Shortly before her infamous meeting with Queen Morganae, she received the Maiden Alrina as a gift from Aedem. Alrina is a second generation venefica, following Agnese who had served as Natashya's maid while she was establishing herself in the Zoluren Court. Like Agnese, the processes used to make Alrina's body poisonous had affected the stability of her mind, but she proved instrumental to many of Natashya's plans, and later served as Princess Arilana's lady-in-waiting. Alrina is strongly suspected of causing Arilana's first miscarriage at the behest of Natashya, but again no evidence exists to prove this theory.

The Outcast War

Natashya once remarked that war can be profitable if carefully cultivated, and for her the Outcast War was no exception. During the conflict she murdered Raellia and rescued Keresyk from the Red Sash after he was kidnapped. She handed Keresyk over to King Raenilar, supposedly in order to force Zoluren to enter negotiations.

Soon after, Natashya was summoned to visit with Queen Morganae. [1] The Queen requested she use her considerable influence to convince Therengia and Zoluren to allow the Outcasts to return to the desert unhindered. Natashya agreed, but under three conditions: That certain "allowances" under the old government be allowed to continue under the new one and that she be granted access to assure this if need be, a token bearing the Queen's emblem as proof of their agreement, and her consideration for a marriage to Prince Fayne. Peace talks between each of the sovereign powers took place shortly after, and the Outcasts were allowed to return unhindered.

The Guilded Enforcer

Along with Bilgrath, Tigron, and Satarra, Natashya worked as an Enforcer within the Thieves' Guild. Some time after the events during the Outcast War she enlisted several Thieves to aid her with gathering information both in Zoluren and Therengia, and one of her final duties was to investigate Kalag The Black, the local Crossing Guildleader. It was at this time she took Majebrad as her new lover and bodyguard.

Shortly after her investigation began, Natashya took a trip to Therengia to visit with Baron Gyfford and conduct some business. An attempt to poison her was followed by an invasion of Human mercenaries, which prompted her to return to Zoluren prematurely. The mercenaries followed her and she decided it would be best to return to Therengia, whereupon Twando revealed himself and, via proxy, explained that he was seeking to fulfill a contract with an unnamed employer that demanded the extraction and delivery of one of her eyes. With the help of her bodyguards and some of her retinue, she managed to evade Twando and return to Zoluren. The mercenaries followed her south however, and she felt it would be prudent to return to Therengia regardless and conclude her business.

In the mean time, Therengia had arrested one of Twando's associates, a man named Farsten, who had been responsible for the poisoning. He was sent him to Zoluren for questioning and with the aid of Alrina, Majebrad, and Caelumia, Farsten was tortured for information then murdered and reduced to ashes after he was unable to provide any. This act would later serve as Twando's motivation for escalating his pursuit of Natashya to one of vengeance.

As the situation in Zoluren degenerated to mass jailings and as Natashya was put under house arrest for her own protection from the mercenaries pursuing her, Satarra was ordered to Zoluren by Ivitha under the guise of an emissary of Ain Ghazal to investigate the rampant crime in the province which was bringing heat onto the guild. When Satarra's attempts at discussion with Kalag failed, Natashya attempted to act as a liaison between the council and Kalag. A diversion was staged by a group of Thieves on the Northern Trade Route, causing the members of the Zoluren militia charged with accompanying Natashya outside of Ulf'hara Keep at all times to die. Taking advantage of the opening, she and Kalag met in Kaerna Village in the Gilded Unicorn. The discussion took place behind closed doors and seemed to those present to be violent as shouting and the sound of things being thrown and shattering could be heard. Kalag departed the Inn and Natashya immediately met with a group of trusted Thieves, whom she instructed to observe and analyze the goings-on in Zoluren and report back to her, particularly things concerning Kalag. Upon her death, Satarra charged several of Natashya's associates with reporting their observations to Ivitha and the rest of the Thief Guild Council in Natashya's stead.

The "Death"

To outside appearances, Natashya and Satarra were summoned to a meeting in Kaerna, allegedly by Court Advisor Paschein, someone neither woman would have reason to distrust. Arriving early they decided to visit the shrine to Damaris near Kaerna Village. Natashya and Satarra were ambushed by a group of Human mercenaries seeking to take advantage in the lapse of attention of her bodyguards. Satarra was beaten unconscious and Natashya murdered, a brief tug-of-war taking place over her body before the mercenaries successfully abducted her. After several tense hours, during which Alrina appeared mad with grief and covered in blood, her body was discovered hung from the gallows tree north of Kaerna, bearing the marks of horrendous torture akin to that which befell Farsten and missing an eye. As some of those loyal to her attempted to cut her down and retrieve the body, a mercenary appeared and doused the body in some flammable liquid and set it alight, reducing her to nothing more than unresurrectable ashes and making it apparent that Twando did not intend for her to ever be allowed to return to life. GM Auriane provided a more detailed summary of Natashya's death shortly following the event on the play.net forums.

Twando himself was eventually struck down and his eye taken by Ragad, but his body was rescued by some of his mercenaries as the rest were killed. Her ashes were collected by Aguisian and Alrina, and those close to her were left to mourn what they believed was her passing.

The Triad

Natashya had managed to establish a loyal group of companions before her untimely death. They served as her eyes and ears and occasionally as bodyguards. They ranged from the obscure or wicked to those possessing prominent political titles such as Court Advisor or Ambassador. Included among the group were Paschein, Ragad, Majebrad, Mazrian, Caelumia. Some of her retinue still work to accomplish her final wishes and goals, using their personal influence and political and social power.

Included in that group were three men referred to as the Triad, meant to accomplish some unknown end of hers: Ragad who was referred to as her Voice and helped her handle affairs within the Thieves' Guild, Majebrad who was referred to as "arn fana" ("my flame") and was her lover at the time of her death, and Mazrian who she purported to call "arn haize" ("my wind") and whose importance was clarified by Alrina following Natashya's death by giving him a brooch that Gyfford had given to Natashya. Natashya left a will to Ragad instructing him in some of her last wishes, and shortly after he took on the mantle of Enforcer within the Thieves' Guild in her stead, at least temporarily.

The ultimate purpose of the Triad is currently unknown, but one duty tasked to them will be delivering the now-mad Alrina to the Mountain and the hands of Morganae, who may have some cure for her condition. Violent visions have been experienced by Moon Mages regarding the Triad following her death which may shed some light on her ultimate goals.

Visions

Your vision blurs, shapes melting into one another around you. The surrounding voices merge into an indecipherable cacophany that sets your ears ringing.

Colors drain from the landscape, shades of grey melding together and shifting against one another until they resemble a finely woven fabric. You try to sort through it with your eyes, but each thread you follow moves from your field of vision before you can reach its terminus.

The pattern undulates before you, just beyond your reach. Shapes form within the taut weave, rolling close to you before fading into the imagined loom. You try to identify each before it disappears: a triangle, a single leaf of clover, a trident, three moons rising and setting in rapid succession, a triskelion. A theme emerges among the spiraling symbols; at no time can you see the entire image before it fades -- one or more components are out of view.

A sense of being incomplete washes over you. You instinctively reach for the symbols to correct them. As your hand moves toward the pattern it shatters as if glass, brilliant spots of light burst searingly behind your eyes. The threads fall apart, disintegrating among a riotous clamor of voices that fuse to sound like hawks screeching in anger.


Your vision blurs, your surroundings grow dim as if you were viewing them through a thick haze of smoke. The sounds around you begin to merge, sliding into one another until they build into a raucous and constant ringing in your ears. The horizon slips from view and you cannot focus on a single point.

The haze thickens around you, your senses swim as the scent of woodsmoke washes over you. The air grows warm and it becomes difficult to breathe. You cough and try to turn your head, seeking clearer air, but your body will not respond the way you want it to.

White-hot pain explodes within your head and your field of vision is suddenly cut in half. Wetness trails down your cheek from the remains of your eye. The air around you grows hotter, with ragged breaths you pull the searing air into your tortured lungs. Your brain screams in confusion as you try to sort out the source of your torment and find nothing.

The roiling smoke clears just enough to make out a hazy tableau. The slender silhouette of a woman stands before a large easel draped with a heavy canvas. Instead of a paintbrush, she holds in her hand a long feather quill. On the canvas is an elaborately detailed spiderweb done in deep scarlet. There are three ragged gaps in the otherwise elegant pattern. She studies the picture with intense concentration, oblivious to her tortured audience.

After several long moments of contemplation she goes back to work on completing the picture, but finds her quill dry. She searches fruitlessly for a palette. Finding none, she sighs and turns toward you. You cannot make out her features other than delicately pointed ears. Over her heart is a deep wound that does not heal. She dips the quill in the rivulet of blood running from it and returns to her work, humming softly as she tries to complete the pattern with her own life's blood.

The choking haze closes in, obscuring the details forever and stealing your breath. Your spine feels like its cracking as you arch in renewed agony. Bonerattling coughs wrack your frame and you beg for air, the heavy woodsmoke thickening with the cloying scent of burning flesh. The heat grows unbearable and you can feel your skin scorch, blisters erupting along your flesh as you find yourself suddenly engulfed in flames.


A feeling like a band of iron encircles your chest, squeezing steadily. As it closes tighter and tighter you find it impossible to take a deep breath. A sense of panic builds as your air hunger rises. Your eyes tear up and your vision blurs as you teeter on the brink of unconsciousness.

A grey haze fills your field of vision, obscuring the details of your surroundings and tamping down the ambient light so that you lose all sense of direction. A presence moves past you, a dense mist that skims your perception.

Images form in front of you, the details coalescing just long enough for you to pick out one or two before they dissolve. A gleaming trident, a gladiolus with tattered petals, a single white rose dipped in blood, a lotus spinning madly across the surface of a deep green pool, they loom and fade as you hear the sound of an infant crying in the distance.

A tree burns to ash before your eyes, the glowing coals scattering before a gust of wind and winking out along a well-traveled road. The infant's cry turns to the shrieking cry of a hawk. Out of the murkiness a red-eyed raven suddenly looms in front of you. Cawing raucously it flings itself at your face, the wings beat at your face as the talons tear for your eyes, as if preventing you from seeing the rest of the tableau.

An ethereal wind buffets you, pushing the haze back and you find you can finally take a deep breath. A sense of frustration can be felt as the images waver, incomplete and too weak to sustain themselves they dissipate as your surroundings return to view.



Your surroundings begin to move in slow motion, creeping along while your breath catches and your heart races. The sounds in your ears slow and distort to drawn out moans and buzzing. Your field of vision darkens to an amorphous grey haze.

The distant cry of a gull reaches your ears. You try to orient your senses to its direction and a gust of wind hits your face, bringing with it an icy blast of sea spray. The saltwater covers your face and the ground beneath you rolls, as if you were on the deck of a boat.

Boistorous voices sound all about you, shadowy figures hustling about as they hurry to their tasks. Creaking wood and the snapping of cables underscore the flapping of heavy canvas. Harsh laughter punctuates the excited voices, the seafarer's patois only allowing an occasional word or phrase to be picked out among the melange of languages and guttural voices. "The swan will eat the lotus." "Two for the Prince!" "The digger is in danger!" "...note in parts..."

A flash of lightning sears the sky, highlighting the roiling grey sky and illuminating the ethereal tableau. You find yourself aboard a ship navigating a stormy sea. The turgid air is hard to breathe, heavy with the impending storm. The deck cants crazily beneath you as the waves crest and crash along the hull. You turn your attention toward the quarterdeck, where a shadowy figure effortlessly turns the wheel despite the gale, long hair whipping out in a black curtain behind them.

You try to make out the details of the fearless pilot, but the sihlouette is too far away. Before you can try to move closer, an enormous wave washes over the bow, the magnificent force of water sweeps you across the deck and into the icy deep. You struggle in your sodden clothes, trying to stay above the surface. Choking as the waves slap your face, your tortured lungs draw in icy saltwater as you try to find some purchase.

Exhausted you slip beneath the surface, your consciousness drifting as your breath fades. You limply sink toward the utter blackness of the deep, unable to change your fate. Murky water swirls around you, forming images that dissipate as quickly as they form, parading atop one another in a chaotic tumble of grey and dark. The dark presses in on you as you try to remember them all.

A castle tumbling into a pile of rock. The pile pushes upward, becoming a mountain. The mountain dissolves and the swirling grey becomes three galloping horses. The horses explode into mist and become a flutter banner bearing a scythe. The banner shreds and a ship bursts through the remains. The ship shatters against a cliff and a three keys float by. As the last of your life ebbs a heron tosses back a small fish and bobs its head as if laughing as you sink into black silence.

The silence breaks with a rush like the surf pounding the shore. The sound eventually seperates itself back into the everyday sounds that normally surround you. Your mind screams as your lungs draw in a breath of fresh air. You open your eyes to find that the world is precisely as it has been.



A vague ringing in your ears builds, what begins as an annoying buzz crescendos to steady shriek which rocks your senses and drowns out your surroundings. Your eyes tear and a grey haze crawls over your field of vision, an opaque gauze filling your sight like an empty canvas.

The smell of burning wood reaches you as a roiling cloud of dark grey smoke pours out in front of you. You follow it with your eyes to its source and view a roaring fire within a mammoth fireplace. Before the hearth, the warm glow of the fire is a large sumptuous fur rug. Strewn casually over the thick pelt are white rose petals and black feathers. Atop the flaming logs are the rapidly charring remains of three leather-bound books with gilded spines.

A young Elven girl dressed in a simple robe glides into your field of vision. Noticing the books in the fire she cries out in distress. She grabs a poker and tries to salvage the volumes from the blaze. The first crumbles to fine black ash, mere remnants remain. The second falls forward, splayed open you see fine Ilithic script filling the smoldering pages. The third tumbles onto the rug, falling open and being caught by a small breeze. Blank pages flip past, scorch marks marring the pages.

You lean forward, trying to make out any additional details on the blank journal. A distant roaring reaches your ears and you glance up just in time to see the flames in the fireplace leap skyward and then out -- directly toward you in a maelstrom of searing heat and toxic gas. You cry out and try feebly to defend yourself from the firestorm ...

The flames lick greedily at your clothing, your nerves scream in agony as the sickly sweet smell of your own burning flesh chokes your senses. With your last lucid thoughts you see a bridal bouquet, standing out in stark relief against the raging inferno. Tied with a shimmering purple ribbon is a single white rose, a long-stemmed gladiolus and a lotus in full bloom. The flowers ignite and are consumed within seconds, a harsh whisper fills your ears just before your senses leave you ...

Revival and final death

Shortly after Natashya's death in 389AV a woman named Isilshori Hidfana (Ilithic for 'Mute bird of prey without flame') surfaced as Prince Fayne's fiancèe. The Triad, after following Natashya's will to bring Alrina to the Mountain, were informed by Isilshori that she was actually Natashya and that she had never actually died, but faked her death to escape some fate. This information was taken to the Theren Court by Mazrian but her other activities are currently unknown.

In 393AV, it was confirmed by Prince Fayne that his fiancèe Isilshori was deceased.

Appearance

(original)

You see Natashya Dalterein, an Elf.
She has amber eyes, shoulder length straight brunette hair that is tied back, and pale skin.
She is young for an Elf.
She has a tattoo of a crimson drop trickling down from two neat puncture holes on her wrist.

(post-Sorrow)

She has pointed ears and thick-lashed stormy grey eyes. Her auburn-streaked black hair is very long and wavy, and is worn pulled up in a topknot. She has fair skin and a lissome figure.
She is a bit over average height for an Elf.
She is young for an Elf.
She has a tattoo of a crimson drop trickling down from a bracelet of intertwined briars on her wrist.

(Body on the tree)

The Elven woman's head is canted at an unnatural and gracefully macabre angle. Auburn-streaked black hair dangles in long blood soaked mats; glimpses of gleaming white skull can be seen in small patches. A hollow left eye socket mars the lovely face. Deep bruises, long jagged lacerations and blackened scorch marks, reflecting hours of pain, decimate the fair skin. Oddly intact is the skin around the wrist, where a tattoo of a crimson drop trickling down from a bracelet of intertwined briars can be seen.

(As Isilshori at the Green & Gold Ball)

You see Isilshori Hidfana, an Elf.
Isilshori has elegant arched eyebrows, pointed ears and sparkling crystal green eyes. Her red-gold hair is very long and thick, and is worn loosely piled atop her head. She has fair skin and a lissome figure.
She is young for an Elf.
She is in good shape.

She is wearing a pair of elbow-length black satin gloves, a double tiered tiara of diamond-cut gold scrollwork glittering with dozens of tiny teardrop emeralds, a high collared sheathe of dark green satin with a heart-shaped plunging backline edged in iridescent gold braid, a pair of gold silk slippers with emerald-tipped ribbon laces, a jadeite gwethdesuan, a kyanite gwethdesuan and a deeply hooded cloak of heavy black wool.